AORN and 3M Collaborate on Hand Hygiene Initiative


To raise awareness of the deadly risks associated with poor hand hygiene and encourage best practices among nurses and other healthcare professionals, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) and 3M Infection Prevention announced today an initiative to reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs)  in the surgical setting. HAIs account for nearly 100,000 deaths each year, nearly six percent of the total HAIs reported annually.(1)

The “It’s In Your Hands” campaign spotlights AORN’s recently updated “Recommended Practices for Hand Hygiene in the Perioperative Setting,” and through new and creative programs will engage and recognize nurses from around the country for exemplary hand hygiene compliance. The campaign will include a YouTube video contest in which nurses will demonstrate the updated hand hygiene protocols through short videos, as well as a recognition program for those who have gone above and beyond to lead their organizations in reducing HAIs through good hand hygiene practices.

“Proper hand hygiene remains one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections,” said Linda Groah, RN MSN CNOR FAAN, executive director/CEO of AORN.  “This partnership with 3M reinforces hand hygiene standards by helping to creatively inform nurses who are on the front lines of surgical care and give them tools to inform and engage their peer groups.”

The AORN Recommended Practices for Hand Hygiene in the Perioperative Setting were revised and published earlier this year (July 2009) and define the perioperative setting as traditional operating rooms, ambulatory surgery centers, physician’s offices, cardiac catheterization laboratories, endoscopy suites, radiology departments and all other areas where surgery and other invasive procedures may be performed.(2) The practices outline recommended procedures, protocols and evaluation methods for hand hygiene.  Included are recommendations for products that include alcohol-based antiseptic hand rub with documented persistent (or prolonged antimicrobial activity) and cumulative (progressive decrease of microorganisms over time) activity that has met Food and Drug Administration regulatory requirements for surgical hand antisepsis.

“We are delighted to partner with AORN on this critically important issue and to help create excitement and energy around these new Recommended Practices,” said Jim Ingebrand, business director for 3M Infection Prevention. “Although proper hand hygiene may seem like a simple practice, these new protocols demonstrate how consistent and deliberate hand washing techniques can help save thousands of lives each year. 3M is pleased to partner with AORN on programs to expand awareness of the Recommended Practices for Hand Hygiene in the Perioperative Setting.”  

To engage nurses and provide a creative vehicle to visually demonstrate how they adhere to the Recommended Practices, a viral video campaign is also being launched on Dec. 1, 2009. Potential participants will develop a short original video that visually demonstrates correct hand hygiene techniques for the perioperative setting in a creative, educational and informative way.

The deadline for entry is Jan. 18, 2010, and entrants will follow criteria that include clearly demonstrating compliance to the new practices including demonstration of correct technique, thoroughness, use of appropriate steps, compliance with AORN Recommended Practices and creativity.

A panel of judges from the AORN Recommended Practices Committee will choose three video finalists for announcement during the week of Feb. 1. The three finalists will be displayed on AORN’s Web site.  Until Feb. 22, AORN members and other visitors to the site, will have the opportunity to vote for their top video. The winning video will be announced publicly at the AORN Annual Congress in Denver, March 13-18, 2010 and the winner(s) (up to three people) will receive an educational grant from 3M to cover the registration fee to attend an AORN conference of their choice. For more details regarding contest criteria, submission requirements and the public voting component, visit: after Dec. 1.

The peer recognition program, which will be launched early next year, will seek to recognize individuals who demonstrate leadership within their organizations to promote outstanding hand hygiene compliance and adherence to the Recommended Practices.


1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  2002. Accessed June 18, 2009.

2. Association for periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). Recommended Practices for Hand Hygiene in the Perioperative Setting. 2009.



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